Commitment Usually Travels On A Two-Way Street
The trust level typically drops during change. People grow wary. More self-protective. They interpret unpopular events as solid evidence that the organization lacks commitment to employees.
And right or wrong, perceptions run the show.
This means you must provide generous proof to the contrary. Leave no doubt about your dedication to your people.
People won’t bust their tails for just anybody. They have to have their reasons—good ones, in fact, if they’re to attack their work with high commitment. Usually the relationship has a lot to do with it.
Commitment rarely comes without reciprocity. That is, we hardly ever get it from others without making some sort of commitment in return. As the Latin phrase puts it, “Quid pro quo.” Meaning this— you have to be invested in your people if you want them to be invested in their work.
That’s not always as easy as it sounds. For example, in today’s world of rapid change, you can’t promise job security. You can’t protect your employees from anxiety and job stress. You can’t even “care” enough to keep from having to make hard moves that can harm their careers. Sometimes you have to do things at the expense of the individual for the good of the organization.
Still, you can be fiercely committed to helping your people succeed in the jobs they face. You can dedicate yourself to giving them the support and resources they need. You can invest in their training, education, and overall employability. You can encourage them, believe in them, and back them up in their work.
Beyond all that, you can commit to honesty, to always being trustworthy and aboveboard in your dealings with them. Unless they have a certain faith in your personal ethics, their commitment will come cautiously—if at all. Make it clear that they can count on you to do what’s possible on their behalf.
Basically, it always comes down to this: You’ve got to be caring and committed toward your people for them to be caring and committed in their work.